Pyrrha and I visit Guion at work

One of the things I’ve been learning about Pyrrha is that she needs a lot more exercise than she lets on. (She’s a healthy 1-year-old German shepherd, after all!) Most of the time, she lazes around the house, getting up only to patrol the front windows or wander into the kitchen to see if we happen to drop something tasty.

However, it’s clear that she has a whole reservoir of energy that’s lying mostly untapped. I think she could run for hours, were she so inclined. In an attempt to tap into this hidden energy reservoir, I decided to take her on an hour-and-a-half walk last week. After I got home from work, we decided we’d walk downtown to meet Guion at work and run a few errands with her.

An evening walk
An evening walk.

Walking with Pyrrha tends to be somewhat slow-going at first, because she has to smell every other plant and shrub and piece of trash. For now, I’m very lenient toward this behavior. I know some people who only give their dogs permission to sniff on command, but I don’t see sniffing as a vice; rather, it’s her way of reading the daily news. In time, I think I will introduce a command to get her to leave something alone or to move on, because she does have a tendency to linger, but for now, the walks are slow, because the girl is laboriously sniffing.

An evening walk
Alert! A dog ahead!

Despite the fact that she’s very new to leash walking, I think she’s in really good shape. She’s very responsive to me while on leash and doesn’t pull (except when a squirrel or bird is tempting her). The main thing she needs to learn about leash manners is not crossing in front of me constantly and tripping me; she has a bad habit of walking right in front of one and stopping. Anyone’s dog ever do this? How would you train away from that behavior?

Guion works part-time at a wine co-op downtown. He manages the quiet office there, so once we arrived, he invited us in while he closed up. Pyrrha seemed fairly anxious about this new space, but after she patrolled the borders for a few minutes, she laid down by the door and started to calm down.

Pyrrha visits the Wine Guild
Visiting “Dad” at work!
Pyrrha visits the Wine Guild
Checking it out.

After we helped Guion close up, we went to the library (where she waited outside with Guion) and then Pyrrha and I walked home. It was a beautiful, balmy summer evening and I was only too happy to spend a large chunk of it walking my good dog.

I think we’ll keep her.

Pyrrha visits the Wine Guild
What a good girl.
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8 thoughts on “Pyrrha and I visit Guion at work

  1. Pyrrha’s doing so well! Even though I don’t comment on your posts much, I’m so proud of how well she’s doing and great job to you on training and caring for her! It’s like you all were meant to be. =D I let my girl sniff around as well. I say if they have a nose, let them use it.

    To get her to stay next to you, you’ll have to teach her the “heel” command. What I’ve learned is that “heel” is not a focus command although sometimes associated with focus training. It’s more of a placement command basically showing her that she needs to be at your side. Once she understands this concept, she’ll understand walking space and respect yours. Good luck to you!

  2. Hey Abby! Did you know that on June 22nd it’s “Take Your Pet to Work Day”? Yep, every year many companies allow everyone to bring their pet to work with them! Pyrrha looked like she handled visiting Daddy at work quite well – Good Girl! How did she do when she passed the other dog on the sidewalk?

  3. She is so cute.
    Sniffing is a dog’s job. I have read that intent sniffing is a weight loss activity. BJ not only sniffs at everything, including the sidewalk, he has to pee on every pole – or trash can or scaffolding pole, etc. He also has to sniff intently before peeing on the spot.

    BJ also thinks he’s skiing. He traverses the sidewalk when we walk. Now you might not think it’s too bad; however, we live on the upper east side of New York City and the street is rarely empty. I allow this traversing only when we’re on our 11PM walk. It’s one of the only times the streets are void of most people and he can chat with his dog friends.

  4. Your walk sounds lovely! As far as the crossing over in front of you, try taking her to a basic obedience class. Morgan has loved obedience and learning a good heel is a practical thing. That’s not to say that I expect her to heel all the time on walks (although my husband does) but it’s nice to be able to tell her to do that when she gets a little distracted and trips me up.

    We do a lot of hiking with Morgan and one of our Greyhounds, Bunny. A couple of years ago, we were invited to go hiking with a group of other German Shepherds and a few other dogs. It turned out to be a fifteen mile hike! OMG! That was a bit more than we were used to doing! I have to give it to Morgan and Bunny, they did really well. When we got back to the van, they were both conked out right away. It took us twenty minutes to drive home and Morgan was up and going again! Those Shepherd girls have more going on than the Energizer Bunny, I tell you! Honestly, though, the best exercise for both of our Shepherds involves a mental component, too. Kuster does tracking and really thinks things out and when Morgan is in new places and seeing new things, she gets a lot more tired, too!

  5. Good for you, letting Pyrrha enjoy her walks. I never understand people who won’t allow their dogs to actually have fun on their walks by doing what dogs naturally do…like sniff! It would be like asking a person not to look around at the sights. I always feel sorry for dogs whose guardians over-train and control them. Pyrrha is lucky to have someone who considers the dog’s perspective!

  6. Sounds like a great walk. And you’re so smart to encourage the sniffing. I doubt you’ll ever be able to tire Pyrrha out physically. She probably has amazing stamina. But sniffing is mentally enriching which also tires a dog out. A good mix of physical and mental exercise is key.

    BTW, tomorrow is Take Your Dog to Work Day. Will Guion be hosting Pyrrha again?

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